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Shannon Shorr: “Winning in Poker is Only Half the Battle”

Two weeks ago he was standing on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This week he’s playing high-stakes poker in a casino with A/C and table service.

Such is the life of poker pro and world traveler Shannon Shorr.

Shorr is an idol for countless poker players. He's also a professional player in the traditional sense, meaning he pays for his own expenses. He doesn’t shy away from a challenge, travels the world and still finds time to go to the gym.

Shorr Climbs Kilimanjaro

Recently Shorr has started to get some recognition for his years of consistent and successful grinding. First he made the top 10 in GPI’s Player of the Decade and even more recently he was nominated for a PokerListings Spirit of Poker Award.

PokerListings Germany's Dirk Oetzmann spoke to the frontrunner in our Most Inspiring Player voting at EPT Barcelona about leading an extraordinary poker life.

PL: Does it feel a bit unreal to move from a tent in Africa to a luxury resort in Spain?

Shannon Shorr2
Shannon Shorr: “Winning in Poker is Only Half the Battle”

SS: It really is quite a contrast. But being there on Kilimanjaro was absolutely amazing.

We were out there in nature, separated from everything and nothing else mattered. No worries for seven days.

PL: As a life-long poker player you are used to the good life. It must have been quite a different thing. What was the motivation behind it?

SS: Yes, it was very different. I hadn’t slept in a tent since I was a little boy.

Actually, a friend of mine came up with the idea and I’m always up for a challenge so I thought, why not?

PL: You were asking your readers to suggest new challenges. I got one for you: a walkabout.

SS: What’s that?

PL: You live for several weeks with Aborigines in the Australian outback.

SS: That sounds incredible. Fantastic. I need to know more about this.

PL: You have been nominated for the PokerListings Award for “Most Inspiring Player." You’ve even Tweeted about it.

SS: Well, I’m always honored when I hear something like that. It’s an honor to be nominated for something.

It has always been my goal to inspire people, so it’s nice to see that it is appreciated.

PL: If you win would you come to Malta to pick up the reward personally?

SS: I don’t really have my schedule for the winter set out yet so unfortunately I cannot tell you now if I will be able to.

PL: One of the most inspiring things about you is how you've keep your head above the water for such a long time. What’s your secret?

SS: There is more to this than just balancing your game or balancing your finances. You have to balance your lifestyle too.

Winning in poker is only half the battle. Being successful also has to do a lot with managing your expenses.

I’ve been very lucky in the way that I’ve never had a very serious downswing that could have cost me my career.

PL: You’ve never had two or three losing years in a row, right?

SS: Well, I’ve had about one-year-long really bad runs but they’ve never been long enough to seriously hurt my career.

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